I Partied With Lawyers and the Booze Won

When I was in Albania, I would hang out with lawyers. Surprisingly, they were actually a lot of fun.

In order to reengineer itself after communism, Albania, through various sources, imported a bunch of US lawyers to help write the new constitution and advise the development of something resembling a justice system (insert joke about starting at home first).

Because I was in the capital, and English speaking people in misery love the company of other miserable English speaking people, I fell in with some of them even though we had nothing in common other than location.

The interesting thing about lawyers is 1) they like to argue 2) they like to drink and 3) they like to talk. As result I found myself sitting quietly–I was as surprised as everyone else–while they debated various random things triggered by fact number 2.

A few of the interesting things I learned:
–If  you want to get a police officer’s undivided attention, make eye contact with one and then run away. Police are programmed to chase after you. This is more effective than calling for help.
–If you run from a police officer and dump something in the trash as you’re running, they need to jump through legal hurdles to access what you threw away because the cop made you do it. If you see a cop, dump something in the trash and then run, they can use what you threw away because you did it yourself.
–The jury system is the worst system ever.
–Lawyers don’t really give perfectly spoken summations, especially ones that don’t actually refer to the case.
–Shooting a corpse you know is a corpse is not a crime (unless you made the corpse a corpse in which case the situation becomes problematic). If you shoot a corpse because you thought it was a sleeping person, that is a crime.
–It is remarkable that I am not in jail.

(disclaimer: this information is 20 years old. Consult local authorities and laws before staking your future on any information given in this blog.)

My favorite moment in the 1)2)3) talks happened when the topic, for some reason, turned to Turkey and the movie Midnight Express. The prosecutor from Brooklyn immediately went into a small rant about how the protagonist deserved everything that happened to him after he got caught smuggling hashish. Her strong rant horrified the handful of defense attorneys in the group. They didn’t try to defend it. I pointed out that Turkey changing the type of crime and the length of sentence as his sentence came to an end was the problem, because even though I’m not a lawyer, I’d had enough to drink to play one.

Her reaction, well, let’s just say it convinced me to never, ever get in trouble in Brooklyn.



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